One of the things I like about Google News is that I can register topics which I’m interested in and get personalized news related to these topics delivered to my inbox each day. I enjoy watching the trends in reporting and comparing perceived importance of “threats” as reported in the news. For instance, it’s always interesting (in a depressing sort of way) to see how news related to celebrities always gets more coverage than humanitarian disasters. Brad & Angelina’s child birthing process is apparently more important than say, massacres of civilians in Iraq.
A topic I obviously enjoy is the current demonization of video games by certain political and public figures in the US. For instance:
900 articles related to “video game violence”
100 of those contain “thompson”
100 of them contain “clinton”
That means that 1 in 9 of the articles related to game violence owes part of their existence to anti-game campaigns being run Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton. And NONE of these articles talk about any link to real world violence being committed as a result of video games. They talk about video games being a source of evil and how video games corrupt the youth. But nowhere do I read about these supposedly corrupt youth actually causing any violence.
I already know that video game violence is an invented issue which is being used by people like Clinton and Thompson to generate awareness for their names, which ultimately translates into power (financial and political). What boggles my mind is that the press continues to report on this non-topic.
Let’s compare a fake issue to a real issue:
2,300 articles related to “football violence”
Incidents of women being beaten by their partners in Northern Ireland will rise during the World Cup, a senior officer has warned.
Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said police had analysed previous international football tournaments and discovered a disturbing trend where the number of reports of domestic violence rises sharply.
More than 300 people have been arrested following the worst violence of the 2006 World Cup so far, when drunken German and Polish fans clashed in the centre of Dortmund.
Here are two articles that make clear a link between World Cup Soccer and real world violence. People are beating their wives and smashing skulls. This stuff is graphic, real-world violence. People are injured, sometimes even killed as a result of this global sporting phenomenon.
How about this one:
Cory K. Favreau, 24, of 200A Margaret St. was discussing the television show “American Idol” with his mother, Jan M. Chagnon, on May 24 at about 10:15 p.m., according to Plattsburgh City court record.
At that time, Chagnon told Favreau that a particular contestant, Katharine McPhee, was going to have a successful career despite losing to another contestant, Taylor Hicks.
Favreau allegedly stood up, made a malicious comment to his mother and struck her in the head with a sharpened, cross-shaped object attached to a bicycle chain.
Guy strikes his mother with a bicycle chain? WTF.
Bottom line: people commit violence against one another for any reason, or sometimes for no reason at all. Regulation of media is never going to solve this issue. Not even a Clinton run police state of absolute social control can make violence go away. Competitiveness is often closely associated with violence. From an early age it is taught to us by parents and teachers using tests, sports, and social situations. Rivalry and fear are bred into us. Modern society is the result. Madness and violence are the side effects.
People like Clinton and Thompson, if they were truly interested in making a difference with regards to violence, would set aside their politically motivated attacks on media and focus instead on society’s basic ills.
But then, they too are stuck in the cycle of competition, playing the big game, and trying to win.